Businesses that align their sales and marketing teams can generate and close customers more efficiently and effectively. Businesses that don't will often have a disconnect between the two teams. This can damage lead flow and cause finger-pointing.
Every business relies on its sales team to close deals and generate revenue. This is true even if the business in question is small and that “team” is a single individual. Along the same end, every business needs some sort of marketing structure to generate quality leads.
When they work well together, these two departments can be a powerhouse for a business’s inbound sales engine. When they drift apart, leads can slip through the cracks and it can be difficult to determine who is accountable.
Businesses That Align Sales and Marketing Teams
Businesses that align sales and marketing teams focus on three key elements to make lead generation and lead nurturing run smoothly:
Enabling sales and marketing teams to communicate properly is perhaps the most important part of aligning them. Harboring more communication can be as simple of putting both teams in the same space or giving them a chance to get to know each other better. Scheduling shared meetings, allowing marketers to sit in on sales calls, and other useful ideas can help foster more collaboration.
Getting sales and marketing teams to communicate using a project management tool is another step a business can take. This is also an essential step for businesses that outsource their marketing effort. When a marketing qualified lead becomes a sales qualified lead, this allows the marketing team to hand them over to the sales team seamlessly so they can continue down the buyer’s journey.
When sales and marketing teams communicate effectively, issues are resolved quickly so the marketing and sales engine continues to function.
Holding each team accountable is an important step in alignment. That's because it helps businesses determine what needs to be fixed when things go wrong. If the marketing team is generating traffic but they aren’t becoming leads, there could be an issue with conversions. If leads are converting but they aren’t getting attention, there may be a problem at the top of the sales funnel.
When each team is held accountable for its own results and both teams are held accountable for overall results, this can reduce finger-pointing between the departments and help everyone strive for the same goals.
Proper measurement of marketing and sales is the only way to maintain accountability. Businesses that align sales and marketing can measure the results of specific marketing and sales areas using metrics. They can also align both teams to work toward the end goal of all sales and marketing efforts: obtaining and maintaining customers. Sales and marketing teams can even keep track of these measurements themselves.
When both sales and marketing are measured effectively, both teams can track results that matter. Marketing can keep track of the volume and quality of their leads while sales can keep track of their lead nurturing efforts and sales closings.
Businesses That Don’t Align Their Sales and Marketing Teams
It’s usually obvious when sales and marketing teams aren’t aligned. There may be a good deal of infighting between the two departments. The sales team may not have enough quality leads to nurture. The marketing team may be sitting on a trove of sales qualified leads that are sitting in limbo. The result is always the same, however.
When sales and marketing teams aren’t aligned, a business can’t meet its sales and customer acquisition goals. To get the two departments working toward the same end, a business needs to facilitate better communication. Hold teams accountable for their own results. Most importantly, track the sales and marketing data that will reveal potential problems.